Saving Extra Money

As the old adage goes, save more than you spend and you shall never go broke! Of course this is much easier said than done. Since the deep recession we experienced just a few years back, consumers have been struggling to right their financial ships. It’s difficult enough to pay the bills on time let alone fund our retirement accounts and savings accounts. However, the problem with this argument is that potential savers will always avoid putting away extra money, thus delaying retirement for years or maybe even indefinitely. You might be young now, in your 20’s or 30’s, but retirement age will come sooner than you think. Let compound interest take effect and you will be glad that you started saving at a young age.

Utilizing a time deposit or fixed term savings can be a great low-risk way of saving money for your future. While there are minimum fees for these types of accounts, they are great for people around the world who want to own a mix of currencies. Also, you can store your money anywhere from one to twelve months, this is especially nice because the money isn’t locked so long that you are unable to access it in case of an emergency. Should you find yourself in an absolute emergency and need to access the funds, you can still be rest assured that you have the ability provided you are willing to pay an early termination fee.

Any type of 401k and IRA account is always a smart and safe investment for your future. If you have an employer that offers a 401k then you should act quickly to take advantage of it. If you employer offers a matching contribution then my advice would be to invest the minimum in order to get the full matching contribution. Anything less than that would be like throwing away free money. Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how few people max out their retirement contributions available to them. If you are already maxing out a 401k, then consider opening a Roth or Traditional IRA. Both of these accounts have tax benefits to them. A traditional IRA is great for people who feel their income and tax bracket will be higher now than in retirement. Much like a 401k you contribute pre-tax funds to an account, and the interest and withdrawals are taxed once you hit eligible retirement age. A Roth is sort of like a brokerage account. You invest post-tax money, but all of your withdrawals are tax free!

About Loans

Short-term loans are a viable means of covering the unforeseen and unexpected. Whilst most of us think we would never need this type of loan, we also understand that there are times where a little extra cash wouldn’t hurt. Thus, what criteria should you consider when applying for that all-important short-term cash advance?

Working with a Regulated Lender

First, make sure you are working with an authorized, regulated and well-established lender, one with a history of providing reasonable and affordable loans like That information should always be clearly visible on their website and it should be the first thing you look for.

Avoiding Pitfalls

Second, make sure you are working with a lender that doesn’t ask or force you to take out a larger loan than you can afford to repay. Whilst there are always times when more is needed, it’s best not to go beyond your budget. That short-term lender should work with you to outline a loan you can easily repay.

Your First Cash Advance

Third, be sure your short-term lender of choice takes the proper approach to your first cash advance. In this case, your initial loan amount should be smaller than any future loans they grant you. Whilst you may need anywhere from £200 to £1,100 on that first loan, it would not be responsible for the loan provider to grant you that sum.

Borrowing Within Your Means

Both you and the short-term loan provider must be able to start off with a smaller initial amount before moving to larger loan amounts. In fact, any short-term lender trying to get you to take out a larger sum than £500 is likely one you should avoid. That lender should be professional, courteous and willing to ask you pertinent questions about how much you can afford to borrow and when you can afford to make your payments.

Finally, make sure you are well aware of all the conditions of borrowing from your short-term lender of choice. In fact, there shouldn’t be any find print whatsoever. The short-term loan provider should be transparent and upfront about all the costs involved with the loan. You should have a clear understanding of how much is owed and when. Any loan provider that is not transparent is not one worth borrowing from.

Forex Strategies

There are many different strategies a trader can use when trading Forex, some more successful than others.

The Pin Bar

One of the most popular strategies used in Forex trading is the pin bar formation. The pin bar is a price action reversal pattern that indicates at what point a price was rejected in the market.

The actual pin bar itself is a bar with a long upper or lower “tail”, “wick” or “shadow” and a much smaller “body” or “real body.”    Pin bars can be found on most bar charts or candlestick charts. In fact, candlestick charts are used the most because they show the price action the clearest and are the most popular charts amongst professional traders. Traders prefer the candlestick version over standard bar charts because they provide a better visual representation of price action.

False Breakout

Here’s another Forex strategy worth looking into: the ‘False Breakout’ or ‘Fakeout’  trading strategy. A False Breakout is a price movement through an identified level of support or resistance that does not have enough momentum to maintain its direction. Since the validity of the breakout is compromised, traders will close their positions causing the price to not make the sharp move that many were expecting.

A false-break is really sort of a deception by the market. It works like a test on a price level that can result in a break of that level but instead of breaking, the market retracts and does not sustain itself above or below that level. The market does not close outside of the level being tested but makes a false-break of it. These false-breaks are good indications of impending market direction, and traders can use them to their advantage.

The Inside Bar

The Inside Bar Breakout Strategy is simple to apply and comes with huge rewards compared  to the amount of risk involved. The inside bar is in place when the highest price is lower than the preceding bar’s high, and the lowest price is higher than the preceding day’s low. In other words, an inside bar is said to have formed when entire bar’s price action range i.e.: Open, Low, high and close takes place within the high and low of the previous bar/day.

The Inside Bar Forex trading strategy is a popular system because it comes with an acceptable win/loss ratio. It doesn’t require any indicators and can be applied on the bare candlestick or bar chart. However, the entry conditions needed for this strategy occur quite infrequently so it is not often used.

Is your Age Impacting your Prospects in the Banking Sector?

According to a study with 1600 employees in the banking and finance sector, age discrimination is now perceived to be a much more widespread issue than gender discrimination.

While it is not uncommon for HR teams to make it a mandate for employees to participate in a workshop about diversity covering a host of issues such as gender, physical handicaps, sexual orientation and race; few are yet to openly approach the issue on how older workers are valued and treated like all other employees. It is also not uncommon for bankers aged 50 and above to exhibit signs of insecurity about age and image along with fear of being perceived as too “old school” in their work approach.


Is Ageism a Real Thing?


The irony of the situation is that while most people running these firms are currently in their 40s and 50s, further down the hierarchy, employers are fixated on hiring primarily young people. Conventionally, one would think that in a knowledge sector, savvy and experience should count for something.


While many employers pose cost factors as a critical criterion in their hiring decisions, history is witness that some of the world’s biggest economic disasters often took place when younger people were in control.


Most placement consultants believe that the amount of time it takes for an individual to find a new role in the investment banking sector is most often correlated with his or her age. While this is obviously when you are looking for a specific senior role that matches your experience, it is also found that companies openly declare they are hiring younger blood because of the “nature of the industry”.


Cost versus Experience


The bottom line is that there is no substitute for experience. While many will argue that people also age from the perspective of their productivity, but this is not true for all. A surprisingly large segment of 50+ bankers continue to be as motivated as their 30 year old counterparts. It is time for businesses to realize the value of incorporating people with real world experience that have the capacity to deliver better operating results regardless of how tough the environment is. This generation has been around delivering results for over 2 decades and has witnessed changes in the market structure, regulatory mandates and a host of other things.


By finding the right hiring balance between engaged, interested and experienced employees along with some new blood banking, companies will be able to leverage a kind of knowledge that doesn’t come from an MBA or cannot be manufactured with the combination of youthful fervor and technology.


With the cost of fines and failures financial businesses are involved in, it is evident that it is time they sought for safer, wiser and steadier minds to do the banking jobs and help the sector revive itself.

How to Save on the Thanksgiving Dinner

We have about a month left until Thanksgiving, when Americans (and some Canadians as well) count their blessings and offer thanks for being together in health for another year. This usually means a rich table filled with turkey goodness and lots of other delicious things at their side. Besides, it also means guests – family and friends gathering around the table. Here are some tips to make Thanksgiving a smaller effort for your budget and still offer a great dinner to your family.

1. Frozen is your friend

As Jamie Oliver, the UK’s favorite celebrity chef once said, frozen foods are not bad for you – by the contrary, they are frozen right after being harvested (or, in case of meats, right after the animals are slaughtered). A frozen turkey is a good choice for your Thanksgiving table, as it will have the exact same qualities as the fresh one (as proven by a study conducted by researchers of the University of Nebraska) and will cost a good 30 or 40% less. You can also use frozen vegetables – I only use frozen green peas and corn at home – for the same reasons as above.

2. Plan your dinner right

First of all, decide the menu and make a list of ingredients necessary. Calculate the usual amounts a person will eat of each one of them, and buy exactly as much as you need. For example, people won’t usually eat more than a pound of turkey during the dinner – for example, for a 10 person Thanksgiving dinner you need a 10 to 12 pound turkey. You can make the calculations for the other foods you plan to serve, and buy the exact amounts you need.

3. Make your own decorations from items you can come by free

There are so many things around the house or in a nearby park you can use for decorating the Thanksgiving table – and they don’t cost a dime: all you need to do is pick them up and use them up. You can combine branches with autumn leaves and candles to make a table decoration, hang leaves all around the house, pine cones you can pick up at the park, and so on. All you need is some time and creativity.

4. Save money on painkillers

You spend a lot of time planning the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, you cook, you carry the groceries, you clean the house – sometimes your head starts to hurt, other times your back or your feet. This can be avoided by preparing everything in due time, and taking some well deserved breaks to help you relax. Read a book, take a walk, view the latest casino bonus offers at, whatever makes you relax, and you can save a lot of money on painkillers…

3 Forex Secrets You Need to Know Now

Everyone wants to make money on any new investment, and they want to make it as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately, there is no shortage of internet sites claiming to teach you the next set of “secrets” or tricks to ensure you will get rich quick.  While this kind of advice may or may not work, there are certainly a few “secrets” to the Forex market that will help ensure you get the most out of your investment.  This isn’t magic – but it is definitely worth studying.

Use the practice software.  Online Forex trading with a software platform like Metatrader allows you a few practice rounds without having to worry about spending your own money for practice.  Surprisingly, most new investors skip this step, likely out of eagerness to jump into the market right away.  The results are pretty typical:  they lose money and end up getting their “lessons” the hard way.  Use the practice software until you are comfortable going it with your own money.

There is no shame in seeking advice.  This is another rookie mistake on the Forex market.  Because Forex trading requires the use of a broker, some online investors balk at using the broker for anything more than completing the transaction.  This is a typical mistake of the new investor who wants to assume they have it all figured out or don’t need help.  But the truth is, Forex is a very different market than the other trading forums you may be experienced with.  What works on Wall Street is not necessarily the best strategy for Forex.  If you aren’t used to playing with pips or leverage, don’t let pride get in the way of asking the right questions!

Track your results.  This is a step many investors won’t bother with, but you can never truly know your own results if you do not personally track them.  Keeping good records will help you determine which currencies you work best with, whether you really know what you’re doing with leverage as well as your investing “style.”

Are these secrets magic?  No.  But they will get you better results with Forex than any other “trick” will!

The 5 Most Important Reasons to Save Money

In one of our recent blogs we talked about how to make a saving money easier. In today’s blog we’re going to look at 5 reasons that saving money is so important. The fact is, having enough to pay for everything you need, while a good thing, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be putting aside some money every month. There are a lot of excellent, and vital, reasons that you should be saving money, especially if you aren’t in debt right now.

Reason 1. Saving up for a down payment on a new home. Simply put, if you have a large down payment that you can put on your home, your negotiating power increases substantially. You can get better interest rates, possibly get a bigger home and, over time, will pay a lot less in interest on your smaller mortgage.

Reason 2. Creating an emergency fund. We’ve talked about this in several blogs before but it’s well worth repeating. Having an emergency fund set aside in a money market or checking account, one that can cover from 6 to 12 months’ worth of expenses, could mean the difference between financial stability and bankruptcy. If you get hurt, lose your job or for whatever reason don’t have any income coming in, having an emergency fund set aside could literally save you from destitution.

Reason 3. Saving for a family vacation. Spending time with your spouse and children can create powerful, strong and lasting bonds as well as wonderful memories. A trip to Europe or a cruise around the Caribbean is something that you and your family will remember for many years. Frankly, you also don’t want to pay for your vacation with credit because, in two or three years’ time, the resentment you feel because you’re still paying it off might negate any fond memories you have.

Reason 4. Saving for an automobile. Paying for a car, whether new or used, with cash will give you a lot more purchasing power. Having cash in hand in an automobile dealership gives you negotiating power that simply can’t be ignored. Also, not having a car payment every month will allow you to do much more with your weekly paycheck.

Reason 5. Saving for your eventual retirement. We’ve talked about this quite a few times in the past as well, because saving for retirement is extremely important. The earlier you start the better as compound interest will greatly add to your “nest egg” once you hit your golden years. Most experts believe that you should put between 10 and 15% of your gross income aside for retirement and, if you have a 401(k) with an employer matching program, match those funds to the maximum every year. Outside of a 401k you can and should open a brokerage account so you can diversify. Regardless of what you invest in, the more you put away early in life will be that much better for when you retire.

We hope you agree that those are five excellent reasons to save. There are others, to be sure, but we believe these are the most important. Saving money might not always be easy but, over a lifetime, could mean a huge difference in how you live your life and how you spend your time during retirement.

5 Money Saving Tips…

five_us_dollars_bills-otherAverage credit card debt owed by the average Briton is approximately 2k. Imagine how many monthly contributions that takes to pay off? We recommend you catch up on the plethora of New Year guides to saving money in 2014 that have been springing up during January to help you get on top of your debt and make your pennies stretch further.

Overhaul attitudes

A good place to start when thinking of saving money is to overhaul your attitude to money. Do you live ‘pay cheque to pay cheque’? If so, it may help for you to adopt a more organised and planned approach to the spending of any money. You may wish to be stricter with yourself about saving for the future, or merely getting into the habit of saving. Again a change of attitude towards savings can make you focus on the value of money and make you less likely to spend cash willy nilly.

Focus on energy

Energy is a hot topic this New Year, precisely because of the sheer amount of saving an average household can make if they focus on saving money on heating bills. A very clever, modern idea about saving cash on heating is to install a special reflective layer behind all your radiators. These reflect the heat back to the radiator and into your house, instead of allowing heat to be absorbed into walls. The result is less energy use and less money expended on household heating. There are lots of other ways to save energy while reaping the knock-on effects of saving money, for example switching off lights and appliances when they are not in use, getting leaks fixed and creating a budget around your energy consumption.

Phone bills

Phone bills are another big area where there is lots of scope to save cash. You should shop around for any mobile phone contract and think carefully when committing to any 18-month contract as within six months it may have become cheaper for you to go elsewhere. Check out for some of the best deals available in 2014 for data sim cards.

Household bills

Household bills mount up and up but clever ways to cut these are to reduce waste in the kitchen. Are you throwing away food regularly? Why don’t you try to avoid this by shopping for smaller amounts more often? Or shopping online?

Get your family on board

Whatever your approach to saving cash, it will really help to get your family on board. Sit down and have a chat about what you want to achieve and set targets for the whole family. You could even promise to spend a portion of any savings on a family treat like a holiday or a new, more energy efficient fridge! A group effort is certainly the best way forward as it can be frustrating when you see someone who leaves the tap on just as you were trying to reduce the water meter bill!